by Billy MacInnes
Storage resellers looking for research that will back up their anecdotal evidence that customers are facing greater problems will draw considerable comfort from EMC’s latest thoughts on the subject.
According to research from IDC, sponsored by storage giant EMC, the digital universe was ten per cent larger last year than originally estimated at 281 billion gigabytes (281 exabytes), and is growing by nearly 60 per cent a year. At current rates, it will reach 1.8 zettabytes (1,800 exabytes) in 2011.
The research also revealed that more information is being created about people than by people themselves and that 85 per cent of all information is held by enterprises.
David Gingell, EMEA vice-president for marketing at EMC, argued that the ‘digital shadow’ created around people by the information about them was "predominantly a good thing" as long as it was handled correctly.
"The good news is that 85 per cent of information is under the responsibility of organisations and it is their responsibility to manage and steward that information correctly," he said.
Gingell said EMC was trying to ensure customers understood their responsibility and accountability to manage information and that they had the proper life-cycle management processes in place.
There was also a requirement to have the right information policies. Large and small businesses had responsibilities regarding the retention, management and disposal of data that they needed to be aware of and there was an opportunity for channel companies to help them meet those obligations.
The research also found that visual data, particularly from surveillance cameras and digital cameras, was having a marked effect on the explosion in digital information.
Although EMC and IDC have introduced the concept of a ‘digital footprint’, which Gingell likened to a carbon footprint, the comparison is only superficial because, unlike with carbon, there are no efforts underway to reduce information emissions.
James Ward, managing director at Hammer, said figures such as those from EMC were always useful for those selling storage and in particular disk-based solutions.
"It is phenomenal and in the paranoid world we live in, it is only going to keep going up," he predicted.